Author Archives: Brian Lawler

About Brian Lawler

Brian Lawler is an Emeritus Professor of Graphic Communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He writes about graphic arts processes and technologies for various industry publications, and on his blog, The Blognosticator.

Saved by the wire (and the fiber-optic cable)

You would never think that a wire could slow Internet speed. Well, perhaps you would think of that, but I hadn’t thunk about it much. I was once warned by my friend Eric that the wrong kind of wire could … Continue reading

Posted in Gadgets, New technology, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My good friend Ray Prince has died

Ray was a man among men in the graphic arts industry. He worked tirelessly for decades to make our lives better through technological advances in printing and publishing. Though I had known him casually for many years, Mr. Prince became … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Arts people | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Excellent typography in web pages

In a previous post I wrote about the differences between typewriter quotes and real quotation marks, and how to do it right. I have received some nice feedback on that post. One person suggested that while it’s great to use … Continue reading

Posted in Typography, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Saved by the RAID

I’m in my second week of online teaching. It’s particularly difficult because my class is a hands-on course in digital photography and color management. But this quarter it’s all hands-off. And that is making me crazy. The announcement that I … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From variable-frequency drives
to hand-bound books

It’s been about a month since I wrote my last blog. It was about variable-frequency-drive high voltage motor controllers and a 1935 book sewing machine. The relevance of that is cloudy, but suffice it to say that I have been … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bookbinding, New technology, Printing and Printing Processes, Typography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Electronic motor control
and my obsession with a 1935 bookbinding machine

This is the second part of my obsession story. To read the first part, please click here. And that’s where my odyssey began. Alternating current induction motors use the frequency of the line power (60 Hz in our case) to … Continue reading

Posted in Bookbinding, Education, Imposition and Pagination, New technology, Printing and Printing Processes, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obsessing on a 1935 bookbinding machine

I get obsessed about my projects. My current obsession is the restoration of a 1935 Smyth book sewing machine in the Shakespeare Press Museum at Cal Poly (I am the faculty advisor). That machine sews the spines of hard-cover books. … Continue reading

Posted in Adventures, Bookbinding, Education, History, Imposition and Pagination, New technology, Printing and Printing Processes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Running the five-color
Pearl press postcard

Last year I began the restoration of an 1895 Pearl press, a treadle-powered letterpress that was donated to the Cal Poly Shakespeare Press Museum. That press was a rusty machine when we took delivery of it. I took it to … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Printing and Printing Processes, Software, Technology, Typography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reminiscences of a prepress guy

I am an old prepress guy. I owned one of the first PostScript service bureaus in the U.S. I was there at the beginning. It was painful, but overall it was a great business. We had been traditional typographers, and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Color Management, History, Photoshop techniques, Printing and Printing Processes, Software | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment